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Two Israeli Policemen Wounded in Jerusalem Attack


Two Israeli policemen have been wounded, one critically, in a shooting attack in disputed East Jerusalem. Robert Berger reports from VOA's Jerusalem bureau.

A gunman opened fire on two Israeli policemen on patrol in Jerusalem's Old City. A security camera captured the incident, but the assailant's face was not visible in the darkness. Police spokesman Yaron Yadid described it as a Palestinian terrorist attack.

Yadid told Israel Radio that the gunman opened fire with a pistol, but apparently was not hit when police returned fire. He fled to a nearby cemetery and escaped.

Paramilitary border police rounded up Palestinian men in an Arab neighborhood near the Old City for questioning.

The attack came 10 days after an Arab construction worker went on a rampage with a bulldozer in downtown Jerusalem, killing three Israelis before being shot dead. In March, a Palestinian from East Jerusalem shot and killed eight Israelis in an attack on a Jewish seminary in the city.

Police Commissioner Dudi Cohen says that he did not believe the recent attacks were related.

Each attack is being treated an isolated incident, he said.

Nevertheless, the attacks threaten to upset a delicate coexistence in Jerusalem, where two-thirds of residents are Jewish and one-third Palestinian. They do not interact much socially and live in separate neighborhoods, but many Arabs work daily in Jewish areas of Jerusalem and the people get along.

In the wake of the latest attacks, Jews in the city fear for their safety and Arabs fear a backlash.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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